Wind energy milestone

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has announced that the total energy output from utility-scale wind farms in the U.S. has reached the 50,000 megawatt milestone.  Those utility-scale wind farms are located in 39 states.  Adding the energy output from all the residential and community-scale wind turbines would considerably increase that total energy output.

To put that 50,000 megawatts in perspective, that is enough energy to power nearly 13 million U.S. homes – or the equivalent of all the homes in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin.  The rate of increase of the U.S. wind energy generating capacity has been breath-taking.  The total generating capacity was 10,000 megawatts in 2006, but had more than doubled to 25,000 megawatts by 2008 and doubled again in 2012.

With those types of increases in wind energy generating capacity, the reasonable presumption would be that the government would do whatever it could to promote continued expansion of that jobs-creating, energy security-enhancing industry.  Uh, no.

The Production Tax Credit (PTC), which has helped to drive the spectacular growth in wind energy generating capacity, is scheduled to expire at the end of the year.  The extension of the PTC is in doubt, because it is caught in the usual moronic political gamesmanship in Washington.

For more information about the milestone, please the see the AWEA announcement.